Find out about qualifying for residency in the State of Maryland as you apply to University of Maryland University College.

University System of Maryland’s Official Policy

This overview is not intended to be a restatement or comprehensive explanation of the classification system. It is offered informally only to answer questions that are most frequently asked by students. The Board of Regents Policy on Student Classification for Admission and Tuition Purposes (VIII-2.70) (the "Classification Policy") is the complete and only authoritative source. It is the responsibility of students wishing to understand their status or petition for reclassification to familiarize themselves with the complete Classification Policy. This overview does not supplant or amend any part of the Classification Policy, which is controlling.

FAQs: In-State Status

I maintain a Maryland mailing address. Is this enough for me to qualify for in-state tuition at UMUC? +

No. Simply living in Maryland for 12 consecutive months or having mail delivered to you in Maryland does not entitle you to in-state status. A continuous physical presence in Maryland is certainly important, but it is only one of several requirements you need to fulfill to qualify for in-state tuition rates.

What are the criteria for in-state residency? +

There are nine criteria to qualify for in-state tuition rates. They can be condensed as follows:

  • Owning or renting and continuously occupying living quarters in Maryland
  • Having substantially all personal property in Maryland
  • Paying Maryland income tax
  • Registering all vehicles in Maryland
  • If licensed, possessing a valid Maryland driver's license
  • If registered, being registered to vote in Maryland
  • Receiving no public assistance from a state other than Maryland or from a city, county, or municipal agency other than one in Maryland
  • Having the legal ability under law to live permanently and without interruption in Maryland
  • Rebutting the presumption that he or she is in Maryland primarily to attend an educational institution

I applied to UMUC while residing in another state, but then I moved to Maryland. Time has passed, and I believe I now meet the criteria for in-state tuition. Am I eligible to be considered for reclassification? +

Yes. A classification decision is based on the facts as they exist at the time you seek reclassification. At the time you were admitted, you were assigned out-of-state status. You satisfied few, if any, of the criteria needed to be classified as an in-state student. Principal among these was that you were " ... Residing in the State of Maryland primarily to attend an educational institution." If you were residing outside Maryland at the time of application, UMUC assumes you were residing in Maryland primarily for the purpose of attending an educational institution. And, in fact, the presumption was valid. You had come to Maryland primarily to attend UMUC.

However, with the passage of time, your personal, professional, and/or economic circumstances can change. So, an examination of the facts in your Petition for Reclassification can now demonstrate you are residing in Maryland for a more complex set of reasons. You may no longer be here primarily to attend UMUC. For example, you might hold a job in the community, own a house here, have a Maryland spouse, or have children in Maryland public schools.

Your original out-of-state classification is not permanent. The presumption that you are residing in Maryland for educational reasons that was originally raised by your application from another state may no longer be valid. It can be rebutted with new facts. However, the burden is on you to present evidence to rebut the presumption. You should outline your reasons for living in Maryland as part of your Petition for Reclassification, and you are required to meet all the other criteria as well.

I applied to UMUC while residing in another state. Before then, however, I had lived my entire life in Maryland. Now, I am living back in Maryland. Will I be admitted as an in-state student? +

Not necessarily. Because you were residing in another state at the time of your application, the out-of-state presumption in the Classification Policy is triggered. Your status will depend on your ability to assemble sufficient facts about yourself to rebut the conclusion that you are now residing in Maryland primarily for the purpose of attending UMUC. Family circumstances, personal relationships, and employment separate from the campus can be considered by UMUC when assessing your primary reason for residing in Maryland.

If I'm not considered in-state where I live, will I be granted in-state status in Maryland if I meet most of the criteria? +

No. You can't be classified as in-state by default. In every state system, the formula to attain favored tuition status is different. And although classification policies across the country commonly use the term "resident," they usually define it differently. In fact, the policies seldom rely on traditional notions of simple residency, meaning little more than physical presence or domicile. They present a more rigorous set of objective tests, depending on the purpose and philosophy of each governing board. 

My employer has transferred me to Maryland. Am I still required to meet all nine criteria for a full 12 months before qualifying for in-state status at UMUC? +

Yes. Generally, there is no advantage given to people transferred to Maryland as a condition of employment. The exception is for active-duty servicemembers of the U.S. armed forces.

How important to my in-state status eligibility is obtaining a Maryland driver's license, registering my car, and registering to vote in Maryland? +

These are three of the nine requirements to become eligible for in-state status. Satisfying each of the nine is equally important and neglecting any is potentially disqualifying.

If you maintain a driver's license or own an automobile, it is very important that it be a Maryland license or registration. If before coming to UMUC you maintained a license and/or registration in another state, it must be changed to Maryland if you wish to be granted in-state status. It needs to be changed within the time required under Maryland law, which requires you to obtain a Maryland driver's license and register your car within 60 days of moving to Maryland. However, these need to be held for at least 12 months to meet in-state guidelines.

If you are registered to vote, you must change the registration to Maryland before voting again. Actively maintaining a voter's registration in another state or voting there is inconsistent with the requirements for in-state status.

Can an international student have in-state status at UMUC? +

No. International students, meaning citizens of another country wishing to enter the United States for the purpose of attending a university, can legally do so only with a visa. There are many types of visas. International students almost uniformly hold either an F or a J visa. These do not permit an international student to remain permanently in the United States; they must leave when their enrollment ends. Among the nine criteria that must be satisfied by a student to obtain in-state status is the " . . . legal ability under Federal and Maryland law to live permanently without interruption in Maryland." International students do not have this legal ability. Also, virtually all international students are residing in Maryland primarily to attend an educational institution. Please note, UMUC does not sponsor F-1 visas. 

International students should not be confused with the broader class of students who simply are not citizens of the United States. The university enrolls many resident (or "immigrant") aliens. Many have lived in the United States for a considerable period of time. They, like U.S. citizens, have the legal ability to live permanently without interruption in Maryland. They can be eligible for in-state status.

The university also enrolls many nonresident (or "nonimmigrant") aliens. Nonresident aliens living in the United States must hold visas. They have been admitted for many different and specialized purposes. Some types of visas are as restrictive as the F and J visas, but others are not. Depending on the type of visa, a student from a foreign country could well be eligible for in-state status. The Attorney General of Maryland has made a determination for each visa type.

Are members of the armed forces eligible for in-state tuition at UMUC? +

Active-duty servicemembers, spouses of active-duty servicemembers, National Guard members, select reservists, and dependent children of active-duty servicemembers who are stationed in Maryland, reside in Maryland, or who claim Maryland as their home of residency are eligible for the military tuition rate instead of the in-state tuition rate.

What determines whether I am considered financially dependent on my parents when I apply for in-state tuition at UMUC? +

A financially dependent student is defined as someone who is claimed as a dependent for tax purposes.

FAQs: Residency Reclassification

As a student, can my residential classification be affected by my finances? +


Yes. If you are financially dependent on a person who is not a resident of Maryland, then the Classification Policy presumes you are residing in Maryland primarily for the purpose of attending an educational institution. You can present evidence to rebut this presumption, but if you are not successful, you will be assigned out-of-state status.

When and how is my residential classification determined? +

Your classification is first established at the time of admission to UMUC. It is determined based on information you provided as part of the application process. Because the burden of demonstrating entitlement to in-state status rests with you, if you have not provided this information or if it is incomplete, you will be assigned out-of-state status. Once admitted to the university, you will retain this classification unless and until you file a successful Petition for Change in Classification for Admission, Tuition, and Charge Differential. This change is not automatic; it must be initiated by a timely Petition for Change in Classification.

What is the deadline for filing a petition for a change in residency status at UMUC? +


You are required to submit the petition by the last day of registration for a semester or session (earlier is preferable) to be considered for in-state status for that semester or session. Learn more about changing your residency status and view the graduate and undergraduate academic calendars in the Current Students section.

Are there any exceptions to the requirement that I need to meet the nine criteria to become eligible for in-state status? +

No. The Board of Regents does not permit exceptions on the basis of personal financial hardship. The Board of Regents, however, has authorized an assignment of in-state status to some groups of persons regardless of the nine criteria. Relevant to UMUC, these are

  • Full-time or part-time (50 percent time or more) regular employees of UMUC
  • The spouse or dependent child of the above employees
  • Certain veterans of the armed forces of the United States and their family members
  • Graduate assistants during the term of their appointment

If I have a residency decision pending for in-state, I pay out-of state charges while the decision is pending, and then I am granted in-state residency, will I be reimbursed for any out-of-state charges paid? +

Should a change in your status be made, the tuition due during the semester of the petition will be adjusted in your student account. No requests are accepted for retroactive changes for prior semesters.

Why do I need to list all of my income and expense information in Section 3 of the petition form for a change in tuition classification? +

In addition to needing the information to determine financial dependence, it is important, on occasion, to use the income and expense information to clarify answers given in a petition.

If I am petitioning to change my residency classification, why does the university need all of the documentation listed on the petition form? +

The Residency Office needs all of the documentation listed on the form in order to verify the assertions you have made in your petition.

I depend on my spouse’s income for a lot of my support. Since my spouse lives with me in Maryland, and I depend on him/her for financial support, does that mean I'm entitled to in-state tuition at UMUC? +

Not necessarily. You can qualify for in-state tuition status in this situation if you have satisfied the other eight criteria as outlined in the residency policy.